Kapenta Fish

November 10, 2013 by  

Kapenta Fish, The Tanganyika sardine, is known as Kapenta in Zambia and Zimbabwe (a related but different fish known as Dagaa or Ndaga is Rastrineobola argentea). Kapenta is really two species (Lake Tanganyika sardine Limnothrissa miodon and Lake Tanganyika sprat Stolothrissa tanganicae) both of which are small, planktivorous, pelagic, freshwater clupeid originating from Lake Tanganyika in East Africa. They form the major biomass of pelagic fish in Lake Tanganyika, swimming in large schools in the open lake, feeding on copepods and potentially jellyfish.

Their major predators are four species of Lates which are also endemic to Lake Tanganyika, and are related to (but not the same as) the Nile Perch in Lake Victoria. All of these pelagic fish have suffered from overfishing in the last two decades.

Limnothrissa miodon has been successfully introduced in both natural and artificial African lakes. Large kapenta fisheries now take place in the Lake Kariba (Zambia/Zimbabwe) and Cahora Bassa (Mozambique).

Limnothrissa miodon is usually around 10 cm long, its maximum length is 17 cm. Stolothrissa tanganicae is smaller at 7 cm (maximum 10 cm).

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